A Legacy of Flavor - my grandmother's pickles

judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin

A Legacy of Flavor

A lot of people are getting into canning and preserving these days. Every book and website will give info on how long what you prepare is supposed to last. Well, I just opened these pickles my grandmother made. Not only is the taste and texture perfect, but my grandmother... who passed away nearly 20 years ago... is right here with me and feeding me again. Sure, the pickles have darkened a bit. She kept all her canned goods in the laundry room, on shelves.... an unheated room off from the carport, that was well over 100 degrees F every summer and went below freezing every winter. The ring is rusty. But, tonight I get to have potato salad just like my grandmother made it... with home made sweet pickles, finely chopped. They aren't too sweet. The flavor of clove is pronounced, and the vinegar balances the sugar perfectly. To ladies taught me to cook, mother and my grandmother. In this jar, not only are cucumbers preserved, but memories, love and flavor. I love you Ma Ma… sorry I couldn't go to the cemetery on Mother's Day. We are under "Stay at Home" orders due to a virus. I sure miss all of y'all. I put in a garden, the way you taught me.... eating mustard greens tonight.



  • dianne.misspooz
    dianne.misspooz Posts: 105 ✭✭✭

    This is just a BEAUTIFUL post in every way! I loved that you said your grandmother was right there with you. I never would have thought that on my own but you are so correct!! You get to experience her once again.

    As one who has never canned but hopes to this harvest, I was afraid of the extreme temps and the damage it would do to canned goods. You're saying it didn't affect what she canned. That is interesting. Maybe my fears are for nothing; although, I would be a bit concerned with the rust but since you lived to post about this experience, I see I have a lot of ungrounded fears that I need to overcome and just CAN!

    Thanks for a lovely post. 💙

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin

    Thanks! The main thing is to make sure the rust doesn't eat through the lid and come into contact with the contents. I have her pickles, pepper jellies and pear preserves.... going back to 1989 and all are fine.

  • SherryA
    SherryA Posts: 314 ✭✭✭

    That's so sweet! 💖

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    Just before my grandparents' house was dismantled (it was a dishonest deal my uncle did to the family...so this was a very hard time), we found a jar of something...pickles, I think too, in her cellar. I don't remember how old it was, but she had passed many years before my grandfather had, and this was a few years past his death too. We did not take it, but I believe other family did. I am not sure what happened to it in the end.

    I still have a few things that my grandma wrote on and a hand cast of my grandpa's unique hand with our very young (at the time) daughter's hand, and some sentimental "heirlooms" as well. These are very special to me and I will always treasure them.

    I can feel the love for your grandmother, @judsoncarroll4. So sweet. Those are the most precious moments...a sight, taste or smell that triggers fond memories. Savor it deeply for as long as you can make those moments last.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Devi
    Devi Posts: 18 ✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 do you think you'd share the recipe? I followed a few I found online but they did not come out that great, and for sure not as wonderful as you describe your granmother's ones. 😊

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin

    Unfortunately, my grandmother was not much of a recipe person. I'll have to try to figure it out through experimentation.

  • burekcrew86
    burekcrew86 Posts: 248 ✭✭✭

    Awesome post and tribute to your grandma.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    Things homemade do seem to keep longer, especially those done with love. My dad was in to dehydrating things. Two days ago I had oatmeal for breakfast, with some of the pears my dad had grown, dehydrated and frozen in bags. The date on the bag? 1995. These do indeed bring back the memories of Dad sitting at the kitchen table, peeling and slicing them to put in the dehydrator. We are not so far removed from our ancestors but I think those in their twenties and even some in their thirties have no clue about their ancestor's experiences. Everything is so tech driven today that people have forgotten how to truly live. They don't know the feeling of having watched something they planted grow and be harvested. When I was gardening for Dad in his latter years (87-91) I would walk into the garden in the morning and see what was ready to harvest. I would think to myself, "today I would have enough to eat if that was all I had". It's such a safe feeling. Our beloved ancestors have given us great treasures.

  • John
    John Posts: 163 ✭✭✭

    Wonderful post! I remember everything my grandmother made for us and let us in on the making as well. What a wonderful and forever memory. :)

  • Nancy Carter
    Nancy Carter Posts: 202 ✭✭✭

    very heart warming.

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    That is a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing! I wish I still had some of my grandma's canning! Nothing beats homemade!!

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin

    I just opened a jar of her red pepper jelly, canned in 1999 - DELISCIOUS!

  • Brindy
    Brindy Posts: 212 ✭✭✭

    I just love this whole thread! Y'all are making me miss my grandparents. Thank you for all the heart warming comments that flooded my mind and heart with memories. I remember as a little girl my grandmother would get a jar of jam out and it was not bright and pretty like the ones at the store and I felt gypped, but then once i tasted it...... amazing! Most of the jams I remember her opening were from the late 50s and 60s. One thing my grandmother taught me while canning was to take off the rings because, "all they do is rust." Now I remove them after the 24 hour mark. I'm not sure if you have to wait or not, so I do it just to be sure.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭

    That's beautiful! What a wonderful thing to be able to experience that memory in those pickles :). My great grandmother was an amazing cook. She did the cooking for the Veterans at the lodge and they raved and raved about it. She had a cheesecake that was famous haha. It's been so long since I've had it. But my mom gave it to us in a recipe book she made for each of us girls. Maybe I'll have to break that out again and have my own walk down memory lane 💝